Dealing with Stress During and After a Disaster

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option


A natural disaster such as a hurricane leaves a trail of property destruction in its wake, many times it leaves thousands of its victims with a destroyed sense of balance. In addition to restoring buildings and replacing material possessions, during the recovery period victims may need to devote time to restoring their own emotional equilibrium. This can be especially important for children who do not have years of life experience to guide them.

Tips for Dealing With Stress

  • Be extra patient.
  • Determine what's really important, keeping in mind that your mate's viewpoint on what should be considered top priority may be different from yours.
  • Don't expect things to instantly restore themselves. Accept that restoration (both physical and emotional) takes time.
  • Realize that disaster victims have suffered losses and it's natural for them to express disbelief, anger, sadness, anxiety, and depressionafterwards.
  • Realize that the emotions of victims will roller coaster and moods can change unexpectedly.
  • Don't overlook the feelings of children as you deal with the situation. They need to feel that they can count on you for the extra attention, love,and support needed to get through. Reassure them, making sure they understand they are not responsible for the problems you face.
  • Try to keep your family diet as nourishing as possible under the circumstances.
  • Refocusing on the big picture, instead of the little details andthe little problems, will give you a sense of competency.
  • Talk with friends, family, ministers. In crisis situations, a supportive network is essential.
  • Be aware of the tendency to resort to bad habits when you are understress.

For more information contact your local Florida Extension Service office.

This information taken from a pamphlet prepared by:

The Collier County Cooperative Extension Service
14700 Immokalee Road
Naples, FL 33964
239 353 4244